FreeLibraryAndExitThread function (libloaderapi.h)

Decrements the reference count of a loaded dynamic-link library (DLL) by one, then calls ExitThread to terminate the calling thread. The function does not return.


void FreeLibraryAndExitThread(
  [in] HMODULE hLibModule,
  [in] DWORD   dwExitCode


[in] hLibModule

A handle to the DLL module whose reference count the function decrements. The LoadLibrary or GetModuleHandleEx function returns this handle.

Do not call this function with a handle returned by either the GetModuleHandleEx function (with the GET_MODULE_HANDLE_EX_FLAG_UNCHANGED_REFCOUNT flag) or the GetModuleHandle function, as they do not maintain a reference count for the module.

[in] dwExitCode

The exit code for the calling thread.

Return value



The FreeLibraryAndExitThread function allows threads that are executing within a DLL to safely free the DLL in which they are executing and terminate themselves. If they were to call FreeLibrary and ExitThread separately, a race condition would exist. The library could be unloaded before ExitThread is called.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header libloaderapi.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See also


Dynamic-Link Library Functions



Run-Time Dynamic Linking